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Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council Annual Meeting - Meteorology and Weather Associated with Extreme Wildfire in Coastal California

posted Oct 10, 2018, 3:51 PM by Joe Christy   [ updated Oct 10, 2018, 3:57 PM ]

On Wednesday, October 24, 6:30 – 8pm, at the Davenport Roadhouse, 1 Davenport Ave, Davenport, CA 95017, we will be holding our annual meeting featuring a presentation by Craig Clements on Meteorology and Weather Associated with Extreme Wildfire in Coastal California

Professor Clements directs the Fire Weather Research Laboratory at San José State University and his earliest research revealed how wildfires create their own weather. The Lab’s Mobile Atmospheric Profiling System is a familiar sight at wildfire incidents throughout California when Incident Command Teams frequently summon them to provide specialized observational capabilities and share expertise. The Lab is currently working with Pacific Gas and Electric to establish new fire weather and fuel moisture observation stations throughout PG&E’s territory.
In his talk he will introduce the basics of fire weather, then discuss Diablo winds based on the lab’s observations of the 2017 Tubbs Fire, and go on to describe research that explains why, at this time of year, the relative humidity in the Santa Cruz mountains often bottoms out in the wee hours of the morning.
Admission is free, there will be a no-host buffet, and the bar will be open. 

Contact Joe Christy at 831/515-8389 for more information.

Taco Social - August 25

posted Jul 6, 2018, 4:26 PM by Joe Christy   [ updated Jul 6, 2018, 6:12 PM ]

The first annual Taco Social, planned to be held on Saturday, August 25th will be the primary fund raiser for the Bonny Doon Fire Team this year, and besides funding the Bonny Doon Volunteer Fire and Rescue Team, it is bound to be informative for the community as well as a lot of fun for the entire family.


The Bonny Doon organizations that are sponsoring the event include the Bonny Doon Fire and Rescue Team, the Bonny Doon Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), the Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council, Friends of the Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve, AREAS, and the Rural Bonny Doon Association. Each of the organizations will have an information booth to share info on how to prepare for (or avoid) a disaster. In addition, CalFIRE, PG&E, and Animal Rescue folks will also be on hand to provide useful information on what to do in the event of an emergency, and how you can prepare yourselves and your family and pets.


In addition to delicious tacos and associated refreshments, there will be live music provided by great local musicians Charlie and Jessica, Bob Peters, and Andy Fuhrman, and activities for the kids, including a bounce house.


This gala event will be held from 2 to 7 PM, so save the date, and we hope to see you there!


We are also looking for volunteers. Tasks include helping to set up on Friday, assisting at the event itself on Saturday, and final cleanup tasks on Sunday

If you have questions or would like to volunteer, please contact

The Home Ignition Zone & Home Hardening Workshop, Saturday, May 5 10am-Noon

posted Apr 30, 2018, 11:38 AM by Joe Christy

The best way to keep your home from burning down is to keep it from catching fire in the first place.

As part of National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day we are having a workshop Saturday, May 5 10am-Noon, beginning at 214 Towhee (map). We'll introduce the Home Ignition Zone concept, a complement to the defensible space concept, and feature a neighborhood tour to illustrate methods of home hardening, landscaping, and community preparedness that we all can use to secure our neighborhoods and protect everyone in Bonny Doon.

May 5 - Save the Date! The Home Ignition Zone & Home Hardening Workshop

posted Mar 28, 2018, 5:19 PM by Joe Christy   [ updated Mar 28, 2018, 5:39 PM ]

The best way to keep your home from burning down in a wildfire is to keep it from catching fire in the first place. That insight, refined from years of studying wildfire in the Wildland/Urban Interface [WUI] led fire scientist Jack Cohen to develop the concept of the Home Ignition Zone [HIZ] in the 1990’s. Since that time, the HIZ concept has been adopted by the National Fire Protection Association, which developed a program of assessing and mitigating wildfire risk in the HIZ.

We have been trained in this program, and to commemorate National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, May 5, we are planning a workshop that morning. The workshop will introduce the HIZ concept and feature a neighborhood tour to illustrate methods of home hardening, landscaping, and community preparedness that we all can use to secure our neighborhoods and protect everyone in Bonny Doon.

Check back for more details as we work them out.

What Drives the Increase in Wildfire Risk in the Wildland/Urban Interface?

posted Mar 28, 2018, 4:19 PM by Joe Christy

Recently the National Academy of Science published the largest nationwide study ever of wildfire in the WUI, right down to the county level. The authors found the growth of the WUI itself, far more than climate change and weather events, accounts for over 95% of the increase in wildfire risk, whether that growth is measured in number of homes, number of people, or area of the WUI. Obviously, the number of homes in the WUI is strongly correlated with the number of people. Surprisingly, the growth in the area of the WUI is almost entirely due to more homes being built in forests and other areas dominated by natural vegetation. Approximately one in three houses and one tenth of the land area of US are now in the WUI.

Two factors are increasing the risk. With more human activity there are more wildfire ignitions, which account for more than 95% of the ignitions. With more homes and people in the WUI, wildland fires are much harder to fight, since protecting lives and property becomes a higher priority than containing and control the wildland fires themselves.

3x your impact!

posted Mar 12, 2018, 11:59 AM by Joe Christy

Amazon is tripling the donation rate on your first purchase - through March 31! Go to and Amazon donates 1.5% to Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council Inc.

Free Chipping Program Registration Open

posted Feb 25, 2018, 3:44 PM by Joe Christy   [ updated Feb 25, 2018, 4:04 PM ]

Registration for our FREE (as in beer) Spring Chipping Program is now open!

o Prepare for the Summer Wildfire Season
o Help Firefighters Protect Your Home
o Keep Your Property Fully Insurable
o Clear a Safe Space Around Your Home 
o Make Sure Firefighters - and You - Can Get In and Out Safely Along Your Road

…by taking part in the BDFSC's Spring Program of
What Is It? We are hiring bonded professionals to chip freshly cut brush and tree 
limbs only (it's actually better to burn the older stuff yourself).

When is it? Mid-March through mid-April.

What else do I need to know? If you are clearing already, stack 
the piles of woody brush and tree limbs under 6" in diameter next to a maintained road
with the cut ends facing the road.  For more information, check out our Chipping Do's and Don'ts.

To take part, you must register online by March 15. Chipping will take place in early April.

Backyard Burn Workshop Handout Posted

posted Feb 25, 2018, 3:35 PM by Joe Christy   [ updated Feb 25, 2018, 3:47 PM ]

We've posted the information from our January Backyard Burn Workshop, with photos. Check it out!
Dooners burning for knowledge

Annual Meeting December 13

posted Dec 1, 2017, 2:12 PM by Joe Christy

Our December annual meeting will feature guest speaker Jake Hess, CAL FIRE Deputy Chief Operations, San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit. Deputy Chief Hess and Battalion Chief Aldo Gonzalez were the Incident Commanders for the October 16-27 Bear Fire outside Boulder Creek.  His presentation will be on Bear Fire Lessons Learned. Chief Hess tells us:
… [H]ere some of the items that will inevitably come up at the talk:
This fire was terrain and fuel driven with little to no wind. This fire had significant potential and we ordered our additional resources accordingly. We entered into unified Command with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s department and issued evacuation orders. This fire had potential need to order a Type I incident command team, however we did not as we were able to handle the fires operationally and utilized a Marin County Type III team for Logistical support. The County EOC was activated and staffed with multiple agencies throughout the entire incident. Access and egress were an issue for responders as well as tight narrow unimproved roads and driveways. The air assets that we ordered played a significant role in the success of this incident due to inaccessible terrain. There were multiple injuries on this fire as well as an injury to a fire fighter classified as “significant”. Shelters were opened and identified for civilians in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.
Please join us Wednesday evening, December 13, 7-8:30pm at the Bonny Doon Elementary School Multipurpose Room.

January Backyard Burn Workshop

posted Dec 1, 2017, 2:08 PM by Joe Christy   [ updated Dec 18, 2017, 10:03 AM ]

Since the CAL FIRE complete Burn Ban in Santa Cruz County was lifted on November 20, and the Monterey Bay Air Resource District’s Backyard Burn Period begins December 1, we will have a Backyard Burn Workshop, Saturday, January 13, 10am-Noon at 150 McGivern Way, Bonny Doon. We will discuss the newest MBARD Backyard Burn permits & regulations (which, for our area, are now more relaxed than in the past), Safety, and Smoke Control. Most importantly, we will demonstrate current best practices for pile burning, learned from our experiences burning over 300 piles in fuel breaks in the 6 years since our first Workshop.

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